I’m back…Again…No…Really… I Swear

Oh hey, how are ya’ll doing? As I’ve already acknowledged I am way to busy to blog. Life is busy happening and blogging has not. Thank god no one actually reads this blog, otherwise I’d be a complete jerk for leaving you all high and dry.

I promise tonight I will sit down and hammer out something fun when I get home. I don’t know what yet, but it’ll be awesome. Yea, awesome.

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Confessions of a Bridal Consultant: I Make Women Cry for a Living

The best part of my job is the fact that I get paid to make women cry. No, I’m not some super sadistic bridal consultant that gets her kicks making bridals feel bad about themselves. I am the one that gets to cause the happy tears that come from finding the wedding dress of your dreams. I get to share in the tears, the hugs and the endless thank yous. This is why I do what I do. Not for the money, but for the warm feeling I get knowing I had a special part in helping them plan the happiest day of their lives. I have had every different type of bride you could imagine. I’ve had the bridezillas, the sweet brides, the vocal brides, the shy brides, the emotional brides and the emotionless brides. Each one has left their own mark on my selling experience for good or bad.

Last weekend I had a wonderful bride who came in with her mom and future mother-in-law. She was a beautiful woman who was there to find the perfect dress. We went over the things she liked and I picked a few gowns while her family and David's Bridal A line Chiffon Split Front Overlay Wedding Dressher picked a few. She had one of the best problems a girl could have. She looked amazing in everything. She had a fantastic figure and as my seamstress said, “you could put a bed sheet on the girl and she would look amazing.” Some brides are blessed and look great in everything. She was loving all of the gowns I put on her but when we got to “her” gown it was different. She came out and took a good look at herself. After she said how much she loved it and watching her body language I decided to put on the veil. After I did she took a look in the mirror and the tears started flowing. She couldn’t believe how much she loved it and how perfect it felt. We tried on the last one or two she had but nothing topped that gown. I got her back into the gown, veil and all, and she gave me the look. The “this is my gown” look. She chose a chiffon A-line dress with a split front overlay. The dress has optional beaded cap sleeves which was actually her favorite part of the dress. My favorite part is the beautiful, long beaded train. I paired it was a beautiful beaded veil that matched the bead work of her gown perfectly. (One of the best parts of it all was that I was able to get the last veil of its kind in white in the entire company. I had to call and get a special authorization code and the woman informed me that I was incredibly lucky and in five more minutes it could have been gone.) There are few things my brides do when they find their dress: 1) they call it theirs; 2) they have this incredible smile on their face; 3) they “pet” the dress; or 4) they cry. If you are lucky they will do them all, and she did. To make everything final we have a special tradition where the bride makes a wish and rings a bell when she finds her dress. When she rang the bell she cried again. The tears were streaming and the tissues were flying. It was perfect. As we were getting everything ordered and paperwork squared away, her and her family thanked me repeatedly for everything I did. I shared the news about the veil, which made them even happier. I was so happy that I was able to pull off the perfect look for her and get her everything she wanted.

Today, I had a sweet bride who was quite petite. At 5′ nothing, she was adorable. She was a bubbly girl with such a happy demeanor. She was very excited about trying on dresses again, as today was her 3rd stop in her search for the perfect gown. She originally came in with the idea that she wanted a simple, minimalist gown with a dropped waist. For petite brides, drop waist gowns can be really tough as they tend to make you look shorter. She tried a few simple drop waist gowns and David's Bridal Petite Mermaid Wedding Dress with Side Bow Accentwasn’t impressed. After she realized that what she originally wanted wasn’t going to work out, we explored a few other options. The next type of gown we tried was a gown with an empire waist, which is one of the styles that works for shorter women. She didn’t feel like the style flattered her and drew attention to the areas she was most self-conscious of. My next recommendation was a mermaid style gown. It was a hit! She fell in love with a beautiful satin mermaid dress with a sweetheart neckline, empire waist with beading, bow detail and bubble hem with a chapel train. Although the sample was not in a petite it still looked amazing on her. The best part was how amazing she felt. She was grinning ear to ear. We had 5 more dresses to try and as we put on each of them she just kept saying she liked the other one better. When you start comparing everything you put on to one particular dress, you know that’s the one. We went through everything and ended the appointment back in her favorite. We dolled her up with the veil and the tiara and she was just so excited. She kept petting it and calling it “her dress.” We rang the bell and then she spent another 15 minutes admiring herself in the gown. Her smile was amazing. Her mom and her sister loved the dress too. It was perfect. When we went back into the fitting room she gave me a big hug and thanked me.

I have shared many emotional moments with my brides and their families. Knowing I have been able to help so many women select such an important piece of their wedding really is the greatest feeling in the world. We start out a strangers and over the course of an appointment I become their confidant, their friend, their therapist and a resource for advice and ideas. My job is to make women feel beautiful and special. Who wouldn’t love a job like that?

Our store in Warwick, RI is hiring for our holiday season so if you are interested, fill out an application or let me know if you have any questions!

-AB

Tradeshow Freebie Hunters

Promotional Products

Some promo products hanging out on my desk right now. Aflac seems to love me seeing as how I have 2 screaming ducks.

Yesterday I was up in Boston representing my company at The Small Business Expo. I’ve done quite a few different tradeshows and expos since starting with my company, but all of them have one thing in common. Freebies. Who doesn’t love all of the free little tchotchke. Pens, cellphone holders, totebags, stress balls, ice scrapers, magnets, tape measures, candy, cups, you name it I’m sure someone has it. I’ve gotten some pretty cool stuff from tradeshows over the years and I’ve also seen some stupid stuff. Quite frankly I’m tired of the drawstring backpacks but I will take a reusable insulated cup any day of the week. As a vendor though, you see they different strategies and tactics people use to collect the goodies. I have come to realize that there are 5 types of freebie hunters you will see at every show.

    1. The Hoarder. These people go booth to booth squirreling away all of the freebies they possible can. They take the pens, the cell phone holders, the stress balls. They have tote bags – from other booths, of course – full of freebies. They come right up to the table, start grabbing one (or even multiples) of everything you have and then run off. They don’t make eye contact, they don’t say anything. I often times wonder what they actually do with everything they take. Do they have 40 cell phones that need holding? How many hands do they have to squeeze all of those stress balls?
    2. The Faker. These people are still only interested in your giveaways, but they will entertain a conversation to make it seem like they don’t just want to take their stuff. I am not sure if they think they are slick, or if they are just trying to quiet a guilty conscious of some sort, but pretending to care is annoying for everyone. It wastes my time that I could be talking to legitimate prospects. I would much rather people tell me straight out that they just want my cell phone holder and be done. That brings me to my next type.
    3. The Tell-It-Like-It-Is. These people happen to be passing by and see something cool on your table. They come over, tell you straight up that they just want your cool gadget and they move on. You never know when or where your customers will come from so having your name on someone’s desk is a good thing. I am ok with the people who want our freebies and just tell me that. The honesty saves everyone the trouble of a pointless conversation.
    4. The Tag Team. These people usually come around in pairs. One person will engage you with questions while the other walks over and raids the table. 9 times out of 10 they just think they are crafty and tag team your freebies but on occasion you might get a real lead. But usually it’s just a tag team of freebie snatchers.
    5. The Repeat Customer. These are the people you will find at your local shows that you attend annually. It’s usually the same crowd that comes year after year. At these shows you get those people that recognize you and of course your freebies. This happens with our cellphone holders. People come running over and say something like “my co-worker has this one her desk and I love it, can I take one?” or “I got one of these last year and l loved it but I lost mine, can I have another one?” I mean, with cool stuff I can see some office jealousy and obviously there is some logo/brand recognition so I guess we’re making an impact with our stuff? That’s what freebies are about, right?

After all of the freebies are gone, the marketing documents depleted, and the booth is broken down, the one thing that matters is the quality leads you had come through. If you can generate business out of the freebie feeding frenzy then it was worth it (and the 2 hour drive in and out of Boston).

-AB